Posted: Aug 17, 2023 10:07 AMUpdated: Aug 17, 2023 10:07 AM

Houston Couple Makes BIG Investment in Kiddie Park

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Tom Davis / Kent Stroman
Bartlesville’s historic Kiddie Park celebrated 75 years of operation last season. Recently  they received a huge boost due to the generosity of a longtime Houston couple. 
Ken Johnson was born in Bartlesville, raised in Bartlesville, met his wife, Lisa, in Bartlesville, and they married in Bartlesville. Now they’re investing in the future of a place that is uniquely special to both of them – Kiddie Park.
“When we heard about plans to upgrade Kiddie Park and assure its continued success,  we just had to pitch in,” exclaimed Ken. “As a young teen, my first job was at Kiddie Park. That’s where I learned what responsibility means. It’s where I learned to be a leader. And most importantly, I actually met Lisa right there at Kiddie Park!”
For Lisa, it’s all about family. “We brought our kids to Kiddie Park and now we bring our grandkids as well. We just want the park to be around for future generations of kids to enjoy.” The park is taking steps to upgrade the rides and landscape, putting a fresh face on a park that’s three quarters of a century old. It’s going to take a huge investment of funds Kiddie Park doesn’t have.
“Kiddie Park has always relied on the generosity of friends, neighbors, and guests from all throughout the community … and beyond,” explained Wayne Clark, Director of Operations. “This generous gift makes a huge dent in an otherwise overwhelming funding goal,” Clark continued. “I can’t wait to see all the improvements we can make with this historic donation!”
According to officials, this is the largest contribution Kiddie Park has ever received from an individual donor. “We’re working diligently to make sure a 75-year-old park looks nostalgic, but doesn’t look 75 years old. A gift of $82,500 goes a long way toward making that happen.”
“We don’t want to attract attention to ourselves,” Lisa explained. “We just wanted to do something for Bartlesville and the kids of the community. For the last few years, Ken has played an important role on the board. “ Even though we live in Houston, it was important for me to get involved with Kiddie Park again – to insure a bright future for the park.”
Then with a knowing grin on their faces, Lisa and Ken chimed in together with the wellused Kiddie Park theme, “Tickets are only 75 cents, they never expire, and the last train ride is always free!”

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